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President Obama "Relatively Close" to Choosing New SCOTUS Nominee

President Obama is "relatively close" to choosing his replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

"Once the president tells somebody he's decided, we're not going to wait around five days to keep it a secret," the official said. "The president's gotten quite a bit of work done on this is the past seven to 10 days."

The official would not rule out a first-time interview with a potential nominee, but left the impression the more likely scenario would be follow-up conversations with those on Obama's short list.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would not rule out Obama making the announcement this week and neither did the senior official.  No announcement is expected Tuesday, but Obama's light schedule the rest of the week creates an opening for the high court announcement.

During this selection process, FOX News has confirmed the president has met with at least three potential nominees: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Sidney Thomas and Judge Merrick Garland.